Do you remember the Jazz preseason where the sky was all sunny and the Jazz were winning? Do you remember how everyone’s expectations continued to rise as they won? Well, I do. One of my co workers even claimed the Jazz would be competing for a top 3 seed in the west. Well, times have changed and the cross hairs of Jazz fans are starting to focus in on Ty Corbin. But, he is not the root cause of the problem. The simple solution to the Jazz’s issues: Agency Cost.
What is agency cost? Investopedia defines it as:
Agency costs arise because of core problems such as conflicts of interest between shareholders and management. Shareholders wish for management to run the company in a way that increases shareholder value. But management may wish to grow the company in ways that maximize their personal power and wealth that may not be in the best interests of shareholders.
So, to simplify it. Agency cost is the difference of interest between the goals set by the Jazz organization and the player/coaches goals. Or the classic question: “What’s in it for me?”
The Jazz are currently suffering from agency cost on 2 sides. Upcoming free agency & Coach Corbin.
Upcoming Free Agency:
The Jazz will have 8 unrestricted free agents this coming summer. All of the current starters for the Jazz will be free agents this offseason. If you were going to be a free agent at the end of the season what do you want to say when you are looking for a new contract. Option 1: I was an all start for my team, averaging a double double, blah, blah, blah. Option 2: I played a lot less minutes this year because of young talent on the bench that the team wanted to develop. I would choose Option 1. If you are dropping your minutes there are only 2 reasons that come to mind. You are either injured and hiding it or the team is so bad with or without you that the team decided to go the rebuilding way.
Being an NBA coach is tough. Being the coach of a franchise that has rarely seen a losing season is even more difficult. You have to admit that the Jazz fans have been spoiled in the sense of winning teams. This is where Coach Corbin’s agency cost come from. Avery Johnson proved how quickly the tides can turn on a coach and lose his job. Corbin in the end cares about 1 thing, keeping his elite coaching job. To do this he needs to be winning. The more losses he suffers, the higher the likelihood he won’t have a job in Utah. Now, many will say something about the organizational loyalty of LHM and the Jazz Organization, but things are changing. With Larry Miller no longer at the head, the loyalty to employees in the corporation has began to corrode just like any other business. In today’s world everyone’s loyalty is to themselves and themselves alone. Agency Cost.
Corbin also doesn’t want to be at the helm with a team that is rebuilding. Most coached that are there during the rebuild are never there when the team becomes a contender. Look at the PJ Carlismo. He coached Seattle up until they became good nd Scott Brooks took over. If Corbin helps rebuild now the chances of him coaching the Jazz to the greener pastures are highly unlikely.
As much as Jazz fans want to see the young kids in the game and playing it is not going to happen until the front office steps in and makes it happen. They will do this by telling Tyrone directly or by trading the veteran players in the way. The real question is would Jazz fans have the patience to deal with the additional losses that would come with increasing the younger players minutes. Inexperienced players = more mistakes = more losses. The one thing the Jazz front office and Coach Corbin have in common is that they don’t think the Jazz fans can handle the losing.